Am I the same person as I used to be?

Quite often people will say that a person who is transitioning or transitioned that, “you’re still the same person.”  This raises the question: Am I the same person that I was before I began transition?

The answer is both yes and no.

On the one hand, I still have all of my life experiences that lead up to the point of my epiphany and subsequent transition.  Many of my interests have not changed.  I still like books, follow politics, enjoy singing and many other things.  I also still have my sense of humour which many people say is warped, others have called it sardonic.  I have the years of experience working in IT and in a lot of ways my personality is the same.

On the other hand I am not the same person, especially in the eyes of society.  There is a fundamental shift in how people see one as a person when one transitions.  Prior to my transition I was seen as, and presented as a straight male with all of the societal baggage that implies.  Now, I am presenting and am seen as a woman – I am a woman – with all the baggage that implies.  My mannerisms, voice, choice of vocabulary have all changed through my transition.  My reactions to things and how I interact with the world is different.

There is also the experience in how the world treats me as a person.  There is a distinct difference in the way that men and women are treated in various circumstances, and that leaves out how one is treated when one is ‘read’ as being a trans person.  Society treats men and women differently based on perceived gender.  Therefore, according to society I am a different person, in many cases this also means that I am not worthy of the same consideration that men are.  These experiences do impact on who I am as a person.  One aspect that hasn’t changed is that injustice irks me.

So yes, I am the same person, but at the same time I am not the same person.  Much as the person one knows in grade school is a somewhat different person when one meets them at a reunion.


2 Replies to “Am I the same person as I used to be?”

  1. hhmmmm K, has it been positive, negative,or just ‘been?’ I am 52 and won’t start HRT until June or July. Maybe my question is moot since I have only the option of transition..or something else just as permanent. I hope I am different, and in fact I better be. And I know it will take a long time for people who know me as male can really get used to me as female. But it is all the others- the strangers- who will tell me in an instant and without saying a word- whether I can be who I need to be…

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